Driving ban for Tweed

 

Former international rugby player and ex-Democratic Unionist Party councillor Davy Tweed has been banned from the road for a year for drink driving.

Tweed (48), Ballymoney, Co Antrim, was further fined £250 at North Antrim Magistrates Court in Coleraine yesterday.

He was not in court but his solicitor said the former international was pleading guilty to a charge of driving with excess alcohol.

The court was told Tweed - one of the most high-profile defectors from Ian Paisley's DUP last year in opposition to powersharing with Sinn Féin - was driving at 3am on September 22nd last year at Carnany Drive in Ballymoney.

The married father of six had an alcohol-breath reading of 52/100, 17 above the legal limit.

A defence solicitor said the reading was "not the highest" and said Tweed had taken "a few drinks" earlier in the night but thought it was safe to drive when he got behind the wheel.

The solicitor said Tweed had not eaten for several hours and had gone to help a friend and they were working late.

Richard Wilson, resident magistrate, certified Tweed as suitable to take a course for drink drivers which, if successfully finished, would reduce the ban to nine months.

Last year Tweed resigned from the DUP but he is still a councillor in Ballymena.